Membership

HOW DO YOU BECOME A MEMBER OF A UNITED METHODIST CHURCH?


The answer to this question depends on your answer to a couple of other questions. For example:

  • Have you been baptized?
  • Are you currently a member of a church in another denomination?
  • Are you currently the member of another United Methodist congregation?
  • Were you a member of a church, but you have not been active for a long period of time?

If you have been baptized, then you are already a member of the universal Christian church made up of all baptized believers. If you have not been baptized, you will need to speak with the pastor to explore what baptism means, the vows or promises you make in seeking baptism, and to setup a time to be baptized. We believe that God is the one who baptizes us, and as such, God is not asked for a “do over”; that is baptism is to be done once and that is sufficient even if we do not remember our baptism or have not lived up to our baptismal vows. By your baptism you join the universal church, then you may choose to join The United Methodist Church and this congregation. To join The United Methodist Church: “As a member of Christ's universal church, will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church, and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries?” To join this congregation: “As a member ofthe Benton First United Methodist Church, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?”

If you are currently a member of a church in another denomination, we will contact your former church and let them know you are joining Benton First United Methodist Church. You will be asked to meet with the pastor to discuss membership in The United Methodist Church and to answer any questions you may have about our local congregation and The United Methodist denomination. You will be asked to take these vows of membership: “As a member of Christ's universal church, will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church, and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries?” and “As a member ofthe Benton First United Methodist Church, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?”

If you are currently a member of another United Methodist congregation and wish to become a member of Benton First then we will contact the United Methodist congregation where your membership is and request a transfer of your membership to Benton First. We will recognize you in worship as transferring your membership to Benton First and will ask you to take this vow: “As a member ofthe Benton First United Methodist Church, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?”

Were you a member of a United Methodist Church or church in another denomination, but you have spent along time away from active membership in any church? If so, you will need to meet with the pastor to discuss a renewed relationship with the church and consider taking the vows involved in being restored to membership in a church. These are the same vows taken at baptism, but you are not baptized you are just restating you new commitment to live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

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